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April 26, 2006

Unidentified Fever Sweeps Nation; CDC Baffled, But Suggests The Only Cure Is More Cowbell

Ever notice how the media is very insistent on "correcting" the public's "mistaken belief" that Saddam Hussein had anything at all to do with 9/11, or Al Qaeda, or terrorism at all, or even giving America the stink eye?

Well, there's another enormous misimpression out there -- that the economy is doing poorly. In fact, the economy is in the best shape since at least Clinton's two-year bubble economy, and, as regards soundness and sustainability, it's better than that, too.

And yet the media has very little interest in correcting a widespread misimpression by the public on this score. Indeed, they seem to be intent on sustaining that misimpression.

Why is that, do you wonder? This is a big day of head-scratching for me, because, once again, I just have no good theory as to this strangely inconsistent behavior by the media.

Anyway:

The U.S. economy powered ahead in March as manufacturing orders surged and home sales jumped by the most in more than a decade.

Orders for durable goods rose 6.1 percent, the Commerce Department said in Washington today, more than three times the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. New home sales increased 13.8 percent, the most since April 1993, to an annual rate of 1.213 million.

Yields on 10-year Treasury notes climbed to the highest since 2002 and traders increased bets the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates twice more before the end of June. Improving business demand and little slowdown in housing run counter to the Fed's forecast that growth will moderate after the first quarter.

``The numbers we're getting all indicate that the economy has maintained a large amount of momentum and that's obviously a concern to the Fed and will likely force their hand,'' said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.

The durable goods report is one of the final pieces of information feeding into economists' forecasts for economic growth in the first quarter, which will be reported on April 28. Excluding transportation equipment, bookings for items made to last at least several years rose 2.8 percent.

The world's biggest economy probably expanded at a 4.9 percent pace in the first quarter, the fastest since the third quarter of 2003, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Thanks to Phil.


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posted by Ace at 12:08 PM

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